Print
Maritime

More Port Projects On The Way To Support Future Growth

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jun 29, 2018
Paul Cozza, executive director of N.C. Ports, talked about port growth and its future during a luncheon Friday. (Photo by Christina Haley O'Neal)
N.C. Ports' container business has grown 61 percent, year over year to date, according to Paul Cozza, executive director of N.C. Ports. 

To keep up with that growth, Cozza said port officials are looking into additional projects, including deepening the Cape Fear River and upgrading its container yard. The projects were part of the updates Cozza shared at a luncheon Friday hosted by the N.C. Foreign Trade Promotion Council.

A crowd of 80 people from the business, trade and transportation community, including local leaders, attended the conference at Cape Fear Country Club on Friday.

As part of his update, Cozza highlighted the growth at N.C. Ports and the Port of Wilmington's ongoing infrastructure improvements. Refrigerated containers have tripled over the past four years at the Wilmington port. And N.C. Ports now has 17 shipping carriers coming through the port, versus six in 2014. It has also increased its port combinations to 65, versus 12 in 2014, he said. 

"That's additional possibilities of trade for companies in and around the Carolinas. As we add more shipping companies -- there are more routes -- that's more ability to do trade; get more efficient; open up new markets for our companies ... and grow on the basis of either exporting or growing on the basis that they are doing importing too," Cozza said.

One of the next steps for the Port of Wilmington is working on the terminal, which includes growing and modernizing its container yard, Cozza said. 

"We're just about ready to sign off on a major modification of the terminal itself," he said. "Why do we need to do that? So that we can keep up with this growth, it can be efficient, and then more importantly, that we can keep that best in class productivity.

"This is going to be a project that's going to take us a good two to three years to get it completed."

N.C. Ports is also looking into further enhancement of the Cape Fear River channel, he said. The Port of Wilmington wants to look forward to staying competitive, he said, adding that port officials do not know just how deep the channel needs to be at this time.

Port officials are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a feasibility study for the project, he said. 

"We are competitive now. We're having these big vessels coming in. But we've got to stay competitive with the other ports," Cozza said. "Savanah is in the process of deepening, Charleston is in the process of deepening, Jacksonville is; so it's up and down the coast. And we have to look at the same thing."

Along with that project, the Port of Wilmington is also looking into further widening its turning basin, Cozza said.

The port completed a widening of its turning basin at the Port of Wilmington in 2016, part of the port's ongoing $200 million in infrastructure improvements. That project gave the port the ability to handle vessels with a length of 1,150 feet and a breadth of 158 feet, according to port officials. 

The $200-million investment also included the port's new neo-Panamax cranes -- with a third on the way -- and ongoing berth improvements, which when complete, will allow the port to service two of the larger cargo vessels at the same time. 

Cozza said that the Port of Wilmington is a "conduit for economic development for the state," and N.C. Ports wants to be seen as even more of a contributor to economic growth.

"We want to be seen as a partner with all our economic activity, which allows the entire state, as a basis of being a catalyst, if there is a company that is looking at situating itself somewhere in the greater Wilmington area," Cozza said. "And that is one of the key things we focus on now and we are going to continue to focus on."
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Jasonpathfinder3

Navigating the Road to Retirement: The Indispensable Benefits of a Well-Crafted Financial Plan

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting
Mcwhorter 0005

So, You Have an Idea for an Amazing, Life-Changing Company... Now What?

Heather McWhorter - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Gretchen roberts 2021

Are You Protected from Employee Theft?

Gretchen Roberts - Red Bike Advisors

Trending News

Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Welcomes New Board Members

Staff Reports - May 28, 2024

Novant To Sell, Leaseback Four Wilmington-area Properties In Statewide Effort

Emma Dill - May 28, 2024

CVB Announces Tourism Award Winners

Staff Reports - May 28, 2024

United Bank To Acquire The Piedmont Bank

Audrey Elsberry - May 28, 2024

UNCW Honors Faculty Awards Recipients

Staff Reports - May 28, 2024

In The Current Issue

Submarine Museum Could Surface Here

‚ÄčA museum would continue to support those military families and honor submarine veterans but also serve as a way to provide science and math...


Info Junkie: Adam Isley

Adam Isley, founder of a spatial medtech applications and experiences company Artemis Immersive, shares his top tech and info picks....


Topsail Island Museum Offers New Exhibit On Black Heritage

Ocean City Beach was established in 1949 and became the first community in the state where Black people could purchase oceanfront property....

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season